The checklist

I spend a lot of my time making lists in my head to help me to cope with my anxiety. These lists usually go round the houses with things being added and removed within seconds of each other!

The main things I have on every list are:

– How do I get there?

– How will I get home?

– Can I eat here?

– Is it easy to get to a place I feel safe (this links to how I will get home – Usually in the car!)

I’m aware this list looks like an easy thing to organise but there is a process I work though to get there and be comfortable. During really bad times I will also think of reasons why I would have to leave and make sure these are all ready for me to drop into conversation if I need to.

I don’t make these lists for any other reason other than to make myself feel happier about a situation. It helps to put things into context and the aim is to try and get the anxious feelings out the way before I go anywhere or do anything. I lose sleep over the smallest things and planning always helps me to feel better.

This is also the case when I start to feel sad (this can happen at this time of the year) I spend time thinking “whats the point?” This makes me want to stay snuggled up in bed and not leave the house at all. I jump in my head from one worry to the next never really giving my head a chance to catch up.

The checklist and a good plan is the way that I deal with this. Having things to look forward to can focus your attention and help you to see any kind of light at the end of the tunnel.

This time of the year is the worst for spiralling anxiety, the dark mornings and evenings, the rain and the cold weather make the best of people feel rubbish! Never mind those of us that struggle in the summer months too!

I would say to anyone, get yourself a cuppa, relax and hatch a fun plan. Have an anchor to look forward to and ride out the winter months! But make sure you get out and enjoy the season when the sun is out and the ice is crisp there is nothing better!

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